Policies, Resources & Forms

Smoking & Tobacco Use Policy

Welcome to our campus.  At Washburn University we are committed to providing a safe, healthy learning and working environment for everyone.  We want each and every person to feel comfortable on campus so we crafted rules about smoking and tobacco use which we feel are a reasonable accommodation of both smokers and non-smokers.

As of September 1, 2016, any use of tobacco products is allowed ONLY in designated smoking areas.  That includes tobacco in any form and vapor delivery systems whether or not they contain tobacco products.

Whether you’re a student, an employee or a visitor to Washburn, we can help you abide by our tobacco-use policy.

We’ll explain how the policy might affect you, show you the areas where the policy applies and point you to resources to help you kick the habit or manage your cravings.

Together we’re making our beautiful campus a cleaner, healthier place.

Common questions about the new policy

Can I smoke in the parking lots?

No. You can’t smoke outside in the parking lots, which are university-owned property.  However, you may smoke in your car.

Do I have to quit smoking?

No.  The university is not asking anyone to quit. This policy simply means that no one can use tobacco products on the Washburn University campuses outside of the designated smoking areas.  We do have smoking cessation resources available for both faculty and staff and for students.  If you want to quit smoking, we can help you find the resources you need.

While walking between classes, I see people smoking on the sidewalks. Is this allowed?

The short answer is no. Sidewalks within the campus are part of the campus property and covered by the tobacco use policy.  However, the sidewalks on the perimeter of the campus belong to the City of Topeka and are beyond our control.

How about visitors?

Anyone who is on the Washburn Campus is subject to the
tobacco use policy.

Smoking & Tobacco Use Regulations

From the Washburn Policy and Procedures Manual:


7. Smoking and Tobacco Use.

7.1 Purpose. To set forth the regulations and procedures for the implementation of the University’s policies regarding smoking and tobacco use.

7.1.1 Definition of Smoking and Tobacco Products – Smoking and tobacco products include all forms of smoking and tobacco use, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vapor-delivery devices, and chewing tobacco.

7.2 Smoking and Tobacco Restrictions on Campus. Smoking and tobacco use shall be restricted within the boundaries of any property owned or leased by Washburn University as described below:

7.2.1 Designated Smoking and Tobacco Use Areas. Specific areas within the bounds of the Washburn campus and Washburn Institute of Technology campus have been identified for smoking and tobacco use.  Smoking and tobacco waste disposal containers shall be placed at designated areas and use must occur within 10 feet of waste disposal containers at designated areas. Smoking and tobacco use restrictions may vary for off-campus leased locations.  Designated smoking and tobacco use areas are shown on the maps and list provided at www.Washburn.edu/tobacco.

7.2.2. University Owned or Leased Vehicles. Smoking and tobacco use shall be prohibited in University owned or leased vehicles.  This shall include, but not be limited to, passenger vehicles, trucks, vans, buses, golf carts, utility vehicles, and lawnmowers.  This applies whether the vehicle is on or off campus.

7.2.3. Private Vehicles.  Smoking and tobacco use is permitted inside privately owned vehicles.

7.2.4. Disposing of Smoking and Tobacco Products.  All smoking and tobacco products and their residue shall be disposed of in an appropriate waste disposal container located at the designated use areas.

7.3 No Smoking or Tobacco Use Signs and Other Notifications.

7.3.1 Facilities Services shall place the international no smoking symbol sign at the entrance of each building and other locations where smoking and tobacco use is prohibited.

7.3.2 The following Employees shall be responsible for advising the designated groups of the University’s smoking and tobacco use regulations:

  • Those who schedule use of University facilities shall be responsible for advising Non-University groups inquiring about use of University facilities;
  • The Director of Human Resources or designee, or the VPAA or designee shall be responsible for advising prospective employees;
  • The Director of Admissions or designee(s) shall be responsible for advising prospective students;  
  • The VPAT or designee shall be responsible for advising employees at the time of adoption of these regulations;
  • The VPSL or designee shall be responsible for advising students at the time of adoption of these regulations; and,
  • The employees who arrange for third parties to provide services on University owned or leased property shall be responsible for advising said parties.

7.4 Responsibility for Enforcement. The enforcement of these regulations shall be a shared responsibility by all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students.

7.4.1. The following individuals shall be responsible for addressing complaints of violations in their respective areas:

  • Supervisors of employees and areas of University business;
  • Those responsible for student conduct code enforcement;
  • Organizers or designee(s) of activities/events; and
  • The Director of University Police or designee(s)

7.5  Complaints of Violation.  Any individual may make a complaint of a violation to those responsible for enforcement, listed above in 7.4.1.

7.5.1. University Police may be called to assist in situations of multiple violations or uncooperative individuals, or where there is a violation of law (e.g. a tobacco user under 18).

7.6 Consequences.  Individuals may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action as an employee or as a student for violating the provisions of this University policy.

32.6 Smoking and Tobacco Products

32.6.1 Definition of Smoking Tobacco Products – Smoking and tobacco products include all forms of smoking and tobacco use, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vapor-delivery devices, and chewing tobacco.

32.6.2 Smoking and Tobacco Use at Tailgating.  Smoking and tobacco products may be brought to the tailgating activities by the tailgaters.  Smoking and tobacco products shall not be taken into the athletic event venue. Smoking and tobacco products may not be sold by the tailgaters without permission of the University.

32.6.3 Disposing of Smoking and Tobacco Products.  All smoking and tobacco products and their residue shall be disposed of in an appropriate outdoor waste disposal container.

Smoking & Tobacco Cessation Resources for Faculty & Staff

Location of designated smoking areas

The designated smoking and tobacco use areas are indicated in yellow on this map.  Permanent signs have been placed on the appropriate waste disposal containers in those spaces.  There will also be temporary blue signs to help you find the designated areas.  The area near the bus shelter on 17th Street has been removed at the request of the Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority because all bus shelters are non-smoking.

Map of Designated Smoking Areas

On tailgating days, tobacco use is permitted in tailgating areas.  Tobacco products of any kind must not be sold at the tailgates and must not be used inside of University facilities (Moore Bowl, Lee Area, Falley Field).  All smoking and tobacco product residue must be disposed of in appropriate waste disposal containers.

Background on the policy

A couple of years ago, the Washburn Student Government Association, then led by President White, conducted a survey of students' views on smoking and found strong support for making the campus smoke-free.  Subsequent WSGA administrations, Porter and Mikkelson, passed a resolution to this effect and advocated for a smoke-free campus.  They brought their proposal to the Administration who began to consider it.  Town hall meetings were held, and input was gathered from Faculty Senate and Staff Council.  We found the faculty and staff were split on what to do.  Some wanted to keep the policy as is currently (no smoking within 10 feet of a building), while others did support a ban on all tobacco use.  The policy presented to and approved by the Board of Regents was a compromise between the students’ wishes and employees' wishes.  A committee, as well as the Executive Staff, reviewed the amended regulations that will be effective September 1, 2016.

The designated smoking and tobacco use areas were carefully chosen to accommodate the needs of all members of our campus community.  The process for identifying and selecting the spaces took place over a number of weeks and involved many constituents.  First, the campus was toured on foot to view current and prospective locations.  Several spaces were identified and marked on a map.  Next, the map was reviewed and number of sites reduced, with the goal of each building having easy access to a site.  Input was gathered and considered from certain constituents before a decision was made by Executive Staff. 

Each designated use area generally serves more than one building and was chosen for being accessible while not in primary foot-paths.  We wanted to consider the wishes of those who use tobacco products as well as those who wish to avoid such products when entering buildings.  Additionally, the sites were reviewed for safety by WUPD, looking at lighting and camera placement.  Smoking receptacles were removed from other locations around campus and appropriate waste disposal containers for smoking and tobacco use are now only located in the designated use areas.

A script for engaging individuals on campus

We realize it can sometimes be uncomfortable to begin a conversation about our new tobacco use policy. Especially when you see someone smoking or using tobacco outside of the designated areas on campus. This script has been developed to help you begin a conversation in a pleasant manner.

Remember, it’s important to always remain considerate and respectful when informing visitors or  students, faculty and staff that tobacco use is restricted to a limited number of designated areas on campus.

Approaching an individual who is using tobacco products outside of the designated areas:

Hi, I’m (insert name) and I (work in the           department here at) (am a student here at) Washburn. You probably aren’t aware, because it just happened, but our campus limited any tobacco use to a limited number of designated areas.

(If receive positive response and visitor voluntarily offers to immediately stop using tobacco)

Thank you. If you’d like to learn more about the policy feel free to visit www.washburn.edu/tobacco. Have a great day.


(If you receive a negative response)

If they are near one of the designated areas:

The designated area for tobacco use is right over by the temporary blue sign.  You’ll also find that those designated use areas are the only place on campus where you will find ash trays.


It’s a new policy and we know it’s going to take time for everyone to adjust. If you’d like to learn more about the policy please visit www.washburn.edu/tobacco. There is a link to all of the designated smoking areas. You can also use your phone to scan the QR code on the temporary signs at each smoking area.  That will bring up a map showing all of the designated smoking areas.   We appreciate your consideration for our campus. Thank you.

Leased Property Exceptions

For off-campus leased properties, smoking and tobacco use is permitted as follows

Facilities Shop

1313 SW 21st Street, 66604

15 feet from the rear entrance, near the parking area

Karlyle Woods

3440 NW Button Road, 66618

- No tobacco use on the property.